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Subject: Re: Age-Appropriate Opera
From: Mike Leone <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mike Leone <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 29 Jan 2018 23:43:00 +0000
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My first time to post three times in one day.  However, my post about the Munch Damnation de Faust existing in part in stereo was not really needed since somebody else had already posted the same thing.
Anyway, Paul's story reminds of the time some years ago when I was having foundation work done on the house.  I had it done in a couple of segments, and the gentleman who would come in to supervise the final part of each segment was very pleasant.  The last time he came, he commented that he always enjoyed coming to my house because the music I played was always so soothing.  I was listening to Wozzeck at the time.
Also, thanks to the poster who mentioned CLO's blog.  I was in high school when I began reading his articles in High Fidelity in the mid-60s, so I have to agree that Mr. CLO must have been a lot younger than I assumed, no doubt because of how knowledgeable he was.  I'm glad to read his posts about my beloved Forza del destino.  Pavarotti was supposed to sing Forza at the Met back in the mid-90s, something I was really looking forward to because I figured he would be ideal for Alvaro.  Unfortunately, those performances were canceled--I never heard the reason why but I figured that Pavarotti had decided that the part was not for him--and replaced with Ballo, another opera I really love although on this occasion I was really looking forward to the Forza broadcast.  Anyway, this business of the Met canceling Forza is getting kind of old...
Mike Leone
[log in to unmask] il Leone!

      From: G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
 To: [log in to unmask] 
 Sent: Monday, January 29, 2018 11:18 AM
 Subject: Re: Age-Appropriate Opera
   
I’m one of those of the opinion who believes the vast majority of operas 
are fine for childhood consumption.  That position changed during the Met’s 
now legendary “Lulu” telecast – the first U.S. performances of the 
completed 3 acts – with Julia Migenes going on as a last minute 
replacement for Teresa Stratas.  I was watching at the home of my aunt 
and uncle, in the basement (the rest of the family involved upstairs in 
holiday festivities) when my 9 or 10 year old cousin came down to 
ask “what the pretty music” was.  Now, there’s a phrase one wouldn’t 
typically associate with “Lulu,” but there it was.  I shared the basic plot 
information – watering it down as best I could for a child.  She watched 
most of it and seemed enthralled, more by the music than what she was 
actually “seeing.”  

Right behind Lulu's blood-stained heels  came . . . of all things, “The 
Pirates of Penzance” which she became obsessed with, culminating two 
years later when I took her and a gaggle of her school mates to the film 
based on the production from Joe Papp’s Public Theater.

Included among my own first operatic experiences are “Boris Godunov
Godunov,” “The Unicorn, The Gorgon and The Manticore,” “Peter Grimes” and 
and “La Traviata,”. . .  or, as some might say, “operas about political 
corruption, murder, mythological beasts, child abuse, and whores.”  

I recall the outrage a few years ago about the Met’s new “Hansel und 
Gretel” and how it was too dark for kids, when the fact of the matter was 
kids loved it outright because of its dark grotesqueries.  We often forget 
the dark things we ourselves may have loved as children, even if portions 
of those things that went over-our-heads – and thank goodness for that.

When I was but a lad of 6 years(!)a traveling marionette company 
brought “Macbeth” to our school and I was hooked for life on Sh
Shakespeare.  

In most instances, I believe, it’s all in how an opera is presented.  

p.
   

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